Importance Of Food Testing In India
Food is the essential requirement of our livelihood.
We know that food work as a fuel of our life. Even how
long we sustain to lead a healthy life, it’s all depends
on our food diet. But how can one ensure about quality of
food that we consume? Well the answer is that there are
various food testing laboratories which assures the quality
of food by verifying the claims of quality standards.
In recent years the method of doing adulteration has become high-tech.
With the advent of state-of-the art testing laboratories, detection
of these adulterants can be done easily.
Spreading awareness among public about Food testing
Food safety has become an important public health issue and food testing laboratories pay significant role to keep
us safe from health hazards. This is particularly true when the people are turning more to the foods of different
varieties like instant, ready-to-eat, processed, fortified and functional food, dietary supplements, etc., either by
compulsion or choice, and at the same time they are increasingly become health conscious along with the changing lifestyle.
As on mere intuition that the food they consume is generally safe and meet the quality standards are not enough for them, now
they require certain evidence for the same. They need to know what are the ingredients that the manufacturers has used, their
calorific value, nutritional value and other lots of information about the food products.
Some Problems related to non-testing of Food
Food can become contaminated at any point either production and distribution or right across the food chain from farm to fork.
These contamination caused by various factors such as foods improperly prepared or mishandled at home, in restaurants or at
markets apart from avoiding basic hygiene practices in case of buying, selling and preparing food.
For instance, in restaurants
we don’t know whether they maintain proper hygiene and follow food safety norms. Also the consumers are unaware of the fact that
whether these restaurants or food shop’s owner conduct food testing or not. Another one problem is that the government provides
mid- day meal in schools for. We have heard many times that the children are suffering from food poisoning or foodborne diseases
due to such unhygienic mid-day meals. This raises a big question whether the government should conduct food testing of these mid-day meals.
These instances indicate that food is very common source of toxicant exposure to humans. Unsafe food creates a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition,
particularly affecting infants, young children, elderly and the sick people.
Importance of Food Testing in India
In India, the rules set by FSSAI are strictly monitored. Food regulation is designed to protect public health and for the safety of consumers. And also it is the
right of consumers to know about the nutritional composition of the food products so that they can make preferences in their choices of food which is healthy , tasty and meet
their requirement of diet. Though it may be the last process of the food manufacturing chain, food testing is the most important step, because it determines the safety of the food for us.
Let’ see why food testing has gain so much importance.
• Food product testing is vitally necessary, to ensure that the food is free of physical, chemical and biological impurities.
• It is done to provide information about various characteristics of food, including the structure, composition and physicochemical properties.
• It ensures that additives and ingredients used in novel foods are standardized and within recommendation level of FSSAI Act, 2006.
• Food testing labs also test water for organizations related to food to ensure that the water they use to prepare or process food is free from contaminants and safe from waterborne diseases.
• Packaged drinking water has become very popular and penetrating on a large scale which assures consumer that water is safe because it is tested as per the norms FSSAI .
• It also helps to make an assessment of the hygiene and sanitation conditions in food preparation and processing in the premises which ensures hygiene standards according to the requirements of FSSAI Act, 2006.
Ways to bring the culture of tested ,safe and hygienic food in public places
Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances, causes more than 200 diseases-ranging from diarrhea to cancers. We have to be attentive to prevent these diseases in order to lead a healthy life. To do so we need to:
• Awareness about food safety has the potential to reduce foodborne diseases.
• There should be strict terms & conditions for the suppliers dealing with food .
• All measures should be followed related to hygiene like surface and utensils should be sanitized or cleaned before serving and eating of food.
• Use food thermometer to ensure that food is safely cooked and that food is held at safe temperatures until eaten.
The government can also play a big role on this part such as:
• Make testing of food and water compulsory at every public places like Hospitals,Schools,Railways Pantry,Restaurants,bakeries and so on.
• By bringing laws to confront food safety risks along the entire food chain.
• Evaluating the safety of new technologies used in food production, for e.g. genetic modification.
• Assessing the performance of food control systems throughout the entire food chain.
Food testing gives authenticity check which ensures the quality of the contents of the food products. Through testing, manufacturers can have surveillance where in supply chain their material is getting distorted and consumers could be able to check the purity of their food. This would ensure supply of high-quality and healthy food at affordable prices